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The film explores how and why so many followed a man who rallied around hate and terror.

DVD Review: Hitler: A Career

Written by Fumo Verde

Hitler: A Career isn’t like any of the other documentaries I have seen about Hitler. There isn’t talk of megalomania or his fatalistic charm. They don’t call him a mad genius who came close to conquering the world. No, the narrator in this documentary calls him what he was, a rabble-rouser who knew how to use fear, brutality, lies, and propaganda to get what he wanted. He played to the people’s wants and desires by tapping into their feelings of self worth that had seemed all but lost after the German defeat in World War I.

Very well put together with some rare “early party” footage. The story gives Hitler’s basic background up to his battle experiences on the Western Front, but it mainly sticks to how he became leader of the German people. What I thought was done skillfully was the way this film dismantled one of his speeches, showing step by step how he would work the crowd. Timing with Hitler was everything and during his speeches he would use this to his advantage, along with body gestures and a specific pattern during the speech that would feed upon the energy and emotion of the frenzied crowd. The film follows him all the way to his demise showing everyone that this man wasn’t so smart and truly had no plans to save his people.

This films digs real deep into what Nazism is, showing the complexities and contradictions of not only the movement but the leader himself. It explores the man and reveals his inequities and lonesomeness that plagued him wherever he went. There is amazing archival footage of Hitler’s early days before he became Chancellor of Germany, when the Party was only a few thousand strong, to those final days in the bunker just before he committed suicide. Why and how the National Socialists rose so quickly can be attributed to Hitler as well as its fall. For we learn that as more and more Germans started to believe in him, the man himself started to believe the propaganda he created. After a few battle victories he helped organize, Hitler thought he had become a great warrior general, those who he dreamed of while listing to the symphonies of Wagner.

Great orators say powerful things. They don’t need to work the crowd so they can get the best response. This DVD brings to light why all those people seemed so in a trance when Hitler spoke and how he used timing and body language to seduce those around him and how he played upon their worst fears to make him look like the only savior on the horizon. Hitler: A Career is one of the best films I have seen that explains how and why so many followed a man who rallied around hate and terror.

About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/ElBicho_CS

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